Redeeming America's Promise: George S. Boutwell and the Politics of Race, Money and Power, 1818-1905
George S. Boutwell and Redeeming America's Promise
Lecture for the Groton Historical Society
February 28, 2021
Jeffrey spoke about his forthcoming book on George S. Boutwell to the 125th annual meeting of the Groton Historical Society. He highlighted George's special relationship with Presidents Lincoln and Grant, his role in the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson, and his Senate investigation of white supremacist violence in Mississippi in 1875. With the talk subtitle "St. George v. the Three Dragons," Jeffrey recounted George's interactions with three members of American political royalty who, like George, were all from Massachusetts: Henry Adams, Henry Cabot Lodge, and John F. Kennedy.
Read the front page article on George Boutwell's remarkable political careerfrom 1839 to 1905, all made possible when George moved at age 17 from the family farm in Lunenburg, Massachusetts, to take a job in a dry goods store and study law in nearby Groton in 1835. A separate opinion piece highlights the links between the Lost Cause of southern white redemption during the Reconstruction era in the 1870s and the white supremacist violence at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021.
Boutwell gave talk on the life and career of the Polish nuclear physicist Joseph Rotblat, whom he knew for 20 years, to an audience of current and retired physicists and scientists at Los Alamos. The talk covered Rotblat's work on the atomic bomb at the Manhattan Project in the 1940s to the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs. Rotblat and Pugwash were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995 for their efforts to limit nuclear weapons.
Boutwell was interviewed on CBS Evening News in May 2015 about U.S.-Cuba projects he organized promoting ocean fisheries conservation involving two of Ernest Hemingway's grandsons, John and Patrick Hemingway, as well as American and Cuban marine biologists.
(Pictured left to right are Jeffrey Boutwell, Master Angler Dr. Marty Arostegui, and John Hemingway, grandson of Ernest Hemingway)